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Old 11-02-2000, 09:53 PM   #1
Nugg
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death of a turbo snail


Hi folks. In my 40G reef, one of my two 1.75" turbo grazer snails died today. I've heard they can poison a tank when they die - is that true? Should I get it out of there? One of my hermits is eating it and has clamped himself to it, refusing to let go. Is my tank in trouble or should I just let the everyone in the tank have escargo tonight and all will be well?

Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2000, 04:25 AM   #2
JennM
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I would get it out of there. Once you do, your nose will tell you WHY I say this It's not worth the risk of fouling the tank.

Any ideas WHY it died?

Jenn
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Old 11-03-2000, 07:08 AM   #3
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If they are that big they can cause a lot of grief esp if the get stuck somewhere that makes it hard for the hermits to clean up. I have had one mafor tank crash attributed to dead snails fouling the tank and I must say it was everybit as nasty as having an anemone go south

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Old 11-03-2000, 08:05 AM   #4
FishDaddy
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I can attest to what Jenn & Doug said. I, too, had a major tank crash that killed off many beloved critters and took 3 months to fully recover from due to the death and unseen rotting of a very large Turbo. The tank was in great shape but apparently the Turbo got stuck amongst the rocks, out of sight, and died. The hermits and clean up critters couldn't get to him and the resulting ammonia spike caused the crash. I only discovered the stinky carcass when I began moving the rocks to see what was causing the problem. Had he died in the open the hermits would have probably eaten the remains before any serious damage would have been done or I would have at least seen him for removal.
Its not that the snail exudes toxins like a Cucumber or Sea Apple, but the rotting flesh produces the toxic ammonia, which in turn causes nitrites as well.
Turbos are good algae eaters but after that experience I resolved to go with the smaller Trochus and Astreas. I plan to add some Naassarius after the last of the Blue-Legged Huns fade into the sunset. At least if the hermits can't get to them these don't leave as much carcass to produce ammonia.
Dispose of the body!
Dick
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Old 11-03-2000, 10:44 AM   #5
gpohly
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Reefdaddy,

The last part of your message confused my reef inexperienced brain. By "...Blue Legged Huns..." do you mean your hermits? If so, they must be detrimental to Nassarius, right? Are there better choices for clean-up crew than the hermits?

I plan on adding more snails; the 10 in my 50 gal. tank are not quite keeping up w/ glass algae, even though other conditions are ideal. Don't want to add incompatible critters, though...

Thanks,
Glenn
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Old 11-03-2000, 10:58 AM   #6
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Glenn,
Right about the Blue legged hermits. IMHO and IME, they are aggressive omnivorous scavengers. Please see this article by Dr. Ron Shimek: http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish/li...=&RecordNo=166
A combination of different type snails is the better choice for a clean up crew. Sometimes crabs may be useful for specifice purposes, such as Emeralds for Valonia control, but normally, an all star snail lineup is better.
Dick
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Old 11-03-2000, 11:01 AM   #7
Nugg
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Thanks for the replies! The hermit that was eating the snail's carcass had pulled the body out of the shell and is now occupying it! I see why he was so tenacious now... Anyway, I got the de-shelled snail carcass out of there and everything seems fine, though I am going to do a water change right now.

I don't know why the snail died... It was out in the open, right in the front of the tank. Are they not very hardy snails?

[This message has been edited by Nugg (edited 11-03-2000).]
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Old 11-03-2000, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nugg:
I don't know why the snail died... It was out in the open, right in the front of the tank. Are they not very hardy snails?
[This message has been edited by Nugg (edited 11-03-2000).]
My guess is that the hermit killed the snail because it wanted the shell. I have had that problem before.

Andrew
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Old 11-03-2000, 07:02 PM   #9
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"Why did it die"? who knows. I have a few turbos that I have had fro quite a while that seem to do fine and have had others that didnt last long. I have always been careful about acclimating them, but some batches dont seema s hardy as other. Hermit crabs with few exceptions are hard on snails. I find a variety of snails species works out better as most species target certain types of algae, except the nassarius which are carrion eaters

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Old 11-03-2000, 10:23 PM   #10
YZ
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Well turbos are big with big appetites. 1 per 10gallons is a good rule of thumb for them. I've had 2 turbos die in my 25 (35 total gallons) and there was no tank crash no ammonia spike, I didn't even have hermits at the time but I had plenty of critters because I didn't have any fish like mandarins eating the critters and the carcass' vanished within a couple days. Granted both snails didn't die at the same though.
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Old 11-04-2000, 07:44 AM   #11
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The real issue is not just snails but any thing that dies in your tank, be it fish, coral or invert, is a potential source of ammonia if the carcass is not consumed by other tank critters. YZ's dead turbos simply became fodder for the tank before the decay set in.
Turbos are fine for algae but like all other critters in your tank, it helps to keep track of them.
Dick
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Old 11-06-2000, 09:15 AM   #12
gpohly
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Dick,

Great discussion by Dr. Shimek on the Nassarius snails; thanks for the reference.

I'm now convinced they're a great way to go. Fortunately, I only have 10 very small Blue Legged Huns and two small red-legged ones to fish out, and my LFS will take them back. And calling around, my favorite LFS remains so; they're the only ones who didn't say "Huh?" when I asked about Nassarius snails!

Thanks again,
Glenn
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